Two Books

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

When I think of my young literary life, two books stand out. Did they influence me to be who I am or was I drawn to them because of who I am?

Velveteen RabbitThe first was The Velveteen Rabbit. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it’s about a stuffed rabbit who is loved by a little boy. He has become threadbare and has a button eye where his eye fell off. He is looked down on by the fancy toys that have springs and gears. There is another toy in the boy’s room, the skin horse, that one day tells the velveteen rabbit about becoming real:

You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” Margery Williams

I held onto this quote, put it in my quote book. Even as a young child I could see the true meaning of the words, about being an authentic person and accepting the things in your life that make you who you are.

The LoraxThe other book I loved, dog-eared loved, was The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. I have always loved nature, and the idea that someone could carelessly and thoughtlessly destroy my world was disturbing to me. I hung onto the words at the end of the book

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

Well, I was going to be that someone.

I am not a conspicuous consumer. I carry my own water bottle. I recycle and compost. I enjoy nature and leave it as I found it. If you follow my blog, you will see an environmental activism thread running through it. But before you dismiss me as a radical, let me tell you that I’m not going off the grid or giving up my car. But given a choice, I will choose conservation and stewardship of the earth. And you can thank Dr. Seuss.